Righteous Racism happens when non-racists selectively enforce righteous standards, producing a racist effect. One prime example is drug laws, where although African Americans have never been more than 15% of America’s drug users and dealers, they were 40% of the arrests. Although police pursued the righteous cause of fighting drug sales and use, the way they chose to address it produced a racist effect by systematically penalizing certain people at a rate 27% higher than they should have. Facebook has done the same to me in a recent debate with a racist online but before I explain, let me give a little background on why I was in a debate with a racist to begin with.
I am a black man who’s truly fascinated with the subject of racism. I’m from the ‘hood, South Central Los Angeles, to be exact, and have since successfully assimilated. I now work in television as an Assistant Director, which requires me to accommodate a plethora of obscure personalities, many of which can be very disagreeable. This skillset gives me a unique disposition to racism and racists’ views and over the years, I’ve grown to be more curious about them than resentful. I am able to consider the various elements of racist’s viewpoint instead of being typical and rejecting them wholesale. With that said, I spend a lot of time exploring the subject, sourcing much information from the very purveyors of racism. I solicit candid statements from them by using a combination of inflammatory rhetoric, some of which I don’t even agree with, and statements that might be considered sympathetic to their views. I do this all in the name of gaining information and understanding of racism and racists better and I actually enjoy it.
I know Facebook is currently experiencing growing pains in light of them assisting Russia in manipulating the American public opinion in the 2016 Presidential election. Since then they have been frantically trying to remedy the situation while simultaneously avoiding giving their detractors ammunition to further soil their name. When powerful forces quarrel, the little people become collateral damage and I, with my cause, am no exception. Recently while in a back and forth with a racist online, another from a previous argument chimed in. I called him out because in an earlier argument he posted fake FBI crime chart to substantiate his claim that there’s a black crime epidemic. Someone Photoshopped this chart to make it seem as if black people killed and raped at higher rates than they actually do. The chart gave figures per 100,000 and the FBI usually gives raw numbers. It also had different categories for “White” and “Hispanic,” which is data law enforcement, including the FBI does not collect. FBI crime reports usually bundle both groups into the “white” category. Facebook allowed him to post this bogus chart several times in a previous debate so when he chimed in this time, I called him out for not answering to the authenticity of his post in the last debate. Then another person chimed in asking me to prove the numbers were off and when attempted to post a screenshot of the actual FBI report, Facebook labeled it “HATE SPEECH.” SMH???
Facebook is free to create its own “hate speech” standards but clearly their algorithm feels slanderous charts lying about black crime are less hateful than actual FBI statistics. Facebook banned me from posting so I was never able to educate the guy and he probably thinks he scared me away with accurate information.
The debater essentially got to win an argument because Facebook held my hands behind my back by using censorship to control the debate. This practice is similar to one person punching another and when that person tries to punch back, they get stopped because “fighting is wrong.” After two or three punches and not being allowed to return the violence, righteousness becomes a tool for advantage, just as in America the “War on Drugs” used righteousness to reduce many black men to 2nd class citizens by making them felons. I am not suggesting that Facebook intentionally programmed their algorithm to yield a racist effect, I’m saying that as they scramble to save face after the Russia debacle, they could possibly be neutering constructive and redeeming input from society’s underdogs. Facebook had this effect on me and I would imagine it is happening to others. The social media giant currently hosts over 200-million Americans and if they are controlling conversations like they did mine, they’re actively aiding racists’ efforts to spread false information and fuel racial discontent. Facebook is preventing those affected by this type of fake news from refuting bogus claims. Rigging the dialogue causes an unnatural and un-American effect. Facebook could very well be on the verge of learning why America’s forefathers created the 1st Amendment. Although it is its own company, if Facebook is going to be host to over 2 billion people, it can’t save face by its algorithms being Righteously Racist.